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Video Capture Hardware

For broadcasting with a digital HD source, we generally recommend products from Blackmagic Design

  • Decklink Series
  • Intensity Pro ($199) - Carefully check hardware compatiblity before ordering
  • Intensity Shuttle - ($199) - Requires a fast machine with USB 3.0
  • Intensity Shuttle Thunderbotlt ($239) or Intensity Extreme ($299) - For the latest model macs with thunderbolt).

Other Capture Devices

  • AVERMEDIA Game Broadcaster HD ($140) - lowest cost option supporting HDMI. Works well with all broadcasting tools in Windows.
  • Hauppauge Colossus ($140) - lowest cost option supporting both HDMI and Component video. Does not work with wirecast or Flash Media Live Encoder. Can do live webcasts using XSplit.

When connecting your equipment to your encoder, select the best available port coming our of your camera and/or video switch. The list below shows video input options in order according to quality (best to worst).

  1. SDI
  2. HDMI
  3. Firewire
  4. Component (3 separate cables for video)
  5. S-Video
  6. Composite

If the best output your equipment has is S-Video or Composite, a high end capture card is not necessary. Typically a very low cost ($15-50) card will give you roughly the same quality as a $1000 card.

Video Capture Software

In most circumstances, we recommend Telestream Wirecast. $449.00. A church discount may be available if you call sales.

You may also use Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder. Free. Less features than wirecast. Does not support AAC audio on windows ($180.00 addon).

XSplit is an up and coming live streaming tool worth mentioning. It uses x264 for encoding, resulting in very high video quality. It is not as well tested as the other options, but is feature rich.

Encoding Software

We recommend NOT using any of the following:

  • Movavi Video Suite - poor encoding quality with bit rates normally used for streaming
  • Cyberlink Espresso - Not configurable
  • Miro Video Converter - Not configurable